I joke that there’s four titles within the Miss Wisconsin Scholarship Program in particular that mean the absolute world to me-Miss La Crosse/Oktoberfest, Miss Wisconsin Rapids (my hometown title, which I unfortunately will never get a chance to vie for as I would have to take a year off), Miss Wisconsin (obviously), and Miss Madison-Capital City. Why, you might ask? I never lived in Madison and I didn’t go to school there. So why I am I so infatuated with the city and the job?
In 5th grade I attended my first Badger basketball game at the Kohl Center in Madison with my dad and sister. That was when I got the first taste of the livelihood and tradition the city possesses. I attended a handful of Badger football games in the years following that and can honestly say there’s no place like Madison, Wisconsin on game day (if you’ve experienced the sea of red you know exactly what I’m talking about). There is a magical spirit that awakens the city of Madison on the morning before a big game, especially during football season. It’s one that embraces the heritage of the university, city, and state while beaming with pride throughout the city; a sensational feeling I wanted to be a part of not just on game days but 365 days a year while serving as Miss Madison-Capital City (P.S. Although I attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse for college, I purchased Badger student tickets online during my sophomore, junior, and senior year of school and drove down for game days.)
On Sunday, February 22, 2015 I was blessed enough to join the Miss Madison-Capital City sisterhood as the 2015 representative. I had drove down to Madison the evening prior to the pageant (Saturday, February 21) with my high school friend, Christa Brehm who just so happened to be Miss River City at the time and her directors Reegan and Nick (friends of mine as well). It was great to get into town a day before the show rather than conquering the two and half hour drive early in the morning. We had time to go out to dinner, practice my talent in the breakfast area of the hotel (flexibility is a key characteristic of any titleholder, right?), run through interview questions, and rest up.
The morning of Miss Madison we picked up some Starbucks (naturally this coffee addict couldn’t run on no caffeine) before I was dropped off at The East Side Club. Not long after arriving I realized that I had forgot some of my make-up in a different bag at the hotel. Luckily, my fabulous Miss Wisconsin 2014 roomie and fellow contestant that day, Tara Pizer let me borrow some of hers (thank you again for that). A simple reminder that the Miss America Organization is truly a sisterhood and as a contestant, titleholder, or volunteer you should work to support one another in every way possible (See my blog post: “The Sisterhood: Use Your Resources“). Upon walking out of my interview that day, part of me wanted to cry in joy…but I refrained. I was so ecstatic and relieved with how my interview with the judging panel went that I had no emotion left in me, I left it all in the interview room. I was able to talk about my platform, my passion for the city of Madison, and my goals as Miss Madison. I remember walking downstairs afterwards and walking out on to the patio overlooking lake Monona with the capital off in the distance feeling so content and excited for the rest of the afternoon.
I performed a lyrical ballet to “Something in the Water” by Carrie Underwood that evening in a new outfit that I absolutely fell in love with. I chose the song because of the power, passion, and message it portrayed. It was a representation of the impact the MAO has had on my personal life and allowed me to have on the lives of others.
Upon hearing my name called as the new Miss Madison-Capital City I felt a wave of emotions rush over me; thrill, relief, excitement, shock, you name it…all condensed into a few short seconds before my face fell into my hands and I teared up. I immediately walked over to Raeanna Johnson (and blew a kiss to my teary eyed dad en route) and embraced her with a big hug as I trembled in her arms. When I finally turned around to face the audience, allowing her to place the sash and crown on me I was so humbled to see an entire row of my family members cheering with exhilaration, countless titleholders who I had become so close with lining the front row, and countless Oktoberfest family members as well as pageant friends of mine scattered throughout the room; my heart was so full.
In true Wisconsin girl fashion, I sported my Badger footie pajamas to bed that night when I got back to La Crosse, On Wisconsin! I could not be more appreciative of this opportunity to represent Madison and continue my involvement in this incredible organization. Thank you to the judging panel for seeing my passion, dedication, and potential and for providing me with this chance to make a difference. I am and forever will be grateful for this experience. XO
Accomplishments and appearances during my year as Miss Madison-Capital City 2015:
- Signed autographs at the JDFR Walk for Type 1 Diabetes, Madison
- Appeared at ‘CMNH Night’ at the Loggers baseball game, La Crosse
- Volunteered at the Miracle Golf Outing benefiting CMNH, La Crosse
- Placed as a Top 11 Semi-Finalist at Miss Wisconsin 2015, Oshkosh
- Organized 10% Night benefiting CMNH at Texas Roadhouse, La Crosse
- Participated in the Monona Memorial Day Parade, Madison
- Ran in the “Conquer the Capital Challenge,” 10K and Half Marathon, Madison
- Volunteered at the Madison Marathon Registration
- Organized and held a garage sale fundraiser for CMNH (Over $400), Wisconsin Rapids
- Volunteered at Culvers for Miss America Serves Day, Wisconsin Rapids
- Participated in a puck shoot out, Coulee Region Chill game, La Crosse
- Volunteered at the Madison Kids Expo, The Alliant Energy Center in Madison
- Judged the Mr. Heart Throb 2014, UW-La Crosse, La Crosse
- Signed autographs and performed at Family Fest in La Crossse